Disappointed with the new watch faces in WatchOS 4

Cogsworth

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Original poster
Feb 7, 2015
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So I just watched the WWDC bit about WatchOS 4 and I have to say the new watch faces are a huge disappointment. Like many other Watch owners I have been anxiously awaiting new faces mostly out of boredom with the existing gallery...I am shocked (or maybe I shouldn't be) with just how bad these new ones are.

Okay, the Siri face might be useful to some. For me, I hardly use Siri at all, I don't have lots of meetings and flights that I need to be reminded about, I drive back and forth to work five days a week so I've got a pretty good idea how long it's gonna take. Honestly I don't need a "dynamic" stream of information that updates all day. Maybe I just have a dull life? Oh and appearance-wise the Siri face is pretty...dull.

Kaleidoscope face? Interesting concept but did anyone else notice how hard it was to make out the hands against that background? What an awful choice for a watch face. I don't think you could design anything more illegible. I would like to be able to read the time on my Apple Watch.

Toy Story characters...okay I am a Disney fan and I love the Mickey face. I use it every time I visit Disneyland. And I like Pixar and the Toy Story movies. But seriously, out of the entire catalog of great Disney characters, why Toy Story? REALLY?! Why not Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Daisy...even Oswald? So many fun classic characters and we get Toy Story?!

Well rant over. I do love my Apple Watch, but I guess we'll still be waiting for cool faces. You would think with the resources and talent that Apple has at their disposal they could do better with something as simple as a watch face. With any luck a couple more decent ones might get thrown in before release.

Thoughts? Am I alone on this one? :D
 

wbrat

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2014
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I fully agree. With Kaleidoscope it was almost impossible to read the time. And Toy Story animations - I think they will be really annoying after a while (and did you see this fake laugh of the guy presenting it? ;)).
Design wise, it was one of the worst part of the WWDC for me (together with the new App Store on iOS - it is so ugly and inconvenient).
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I would say the largest complaint with the Apple Watch currently is the lack thereof additional watch faces. I don't have any issues with the current ones available, I just want to see expansion with more watch faces that utilize the Hermes style.

What I would like to see, is Apple offer an Apple Watch face store, offering additional watch faces throughout the year and not just once a year during September when they debut. It would just be a nice option to keep the watch refreshed with additional watch faces as they do with updating the watchbands throughout the year.

Also, here is another thread with similar discussion.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/wwdc-new-watch-faces-coming.2048473/
 
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FrisbeeK9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2006
625
234
I agree with your comments about the Disney and Pixar. I’m still baffled to why no watch face store or at RP said release new faces with the seasonal bands. I’m getting the feeling the face department is a last resort idea “omg we have WWDC in three weeks and we need some faces quick”. I’d like more effort from that design team, more creative ideas not just mail it in like I feel the watch user community seem to be getting.
 

lucco78

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2008
88
21
Why Toy Story?!? Are you serious?
Toy Story is the first Pixar movie, these characters are for Pixar like Mickey was for Disney! (for me) it's a logic choice!
 
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Newt82

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2014
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Also very disappointed. Been a big fan of the Apple Watch since the start. Also I love my analog watches, so I naturally prefer to use the selection of analog faces. But I'm starting to get a little bored with them. It would so much better if we could have a analog custome background editor.
I can't see myself using the toy story faces. I get the Micky mouse one as it has a history of being on wristwatches. And the kaleidoscope and Siri faces have to appeal to me.
 

gwhizkids

macrumors 603
Jun 21, 2013
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Why Toy Story?!? Are you serious?
Toy Story is the first Pixar movie, these characters are for Pixar like Mickey was for Disney! (for me) it's a logic choice!
And, if you know a little Apple history: Steve Jobs owned Pixar. The success of the original Toy Story more or less rescued Jobs from the brink after he was ousted from Apple. Jobs returned to Apple shortly after, flush with cash and his computing firm, NeXT, which developed the software underpinnings for osX, and now the whole range of software that powers our devices.

These characters probably should have been the first ones on the Watch. Without Woody and Buzz, there may not be a family of iOS devices today.
 

SoN1NjA

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Feb 3, 2016
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Okay, the Siri face might be useful to some. For me, I hardly use Siri at all, I don't have lots of meetings and flights that I need to be reminded about, I drive back and forth to work five days a week so I've got a pretty good idea how long it's gonna take. Honestly I don't need a "dynamic" stream of information that updates all day. Maybe I just have a dull life? Oh and appearance-wise the Siri face is pretty...dull.
I actually love the look of the Siri watchface, but like you I don't have a new flight every hour, I don't want to see my photos from a year ago, I go to the same place everyday at the same time, and my calendar has nothing on it so there's nothing I need to be reminded about
 
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FrisbeeK9

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Jun 26, 2006
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And, if you know a little Apple history: Steve Jobs owned Pixar. The success of the original Toy Story more or less rescued Jobs from the brink after he was ousted from Apple. Jobs returned to Apple shortly after, flush with cash and his computing firm, NeXT, which developed the software underpinnings for osX, and now the whole range of software that powers our devices.

These characters probably should have been the first ones on the Watch. Without Woody and Buzz, there may not be a family of iOS devices today.
Ahh you’re right I completely slept on the Pixar connection. Now it makes sense but I’m not a Guy to display that in my watch.
 

sean000

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Jul 16, 2015
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Bellingham, WA
Custom watch faces are something some Apple Watch owners have been asking for from the start. Personally I tend to go back and forth between a few watch faces and I get enough variety from the color changes, complications, photo faces, etc. Still, it would be nice to have more and better custom options.

The Siri face has some interesting possibilities. I'm not a big fan of the toon faces. I do like the motion faces and I'm sure Kaleidoscope faces will be just as mesmerizing, but as you point out they might be harder to read.

Sean
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Custom watch faces are something some Apple Watch owners have been asking for from the start. Personally I tend to go back and forth between a few watch faces and I get enough variety from the color changes, complications, photo faces, etc. Still, it would be nice to have more and better custom options.

The Siri face has some interesting possibilities. I'm not a big fan of the toon faces. I do like the motion faces and I'm sure Kaleidoscope faces will be just as mesmerizing, but as you point out they might be harder to read.

Sean
Even the original watch faces are still great and they offer a different variety of Styles. I still think the solar watch face and Jelly fish/Butterfly animated faces are the the most intriguing. Those never seem to get old to me and they look awesome on the watch.
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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I didn't realize until this thread that the Kaleidoscope face actually shows the time. That one is completely useless to me. The Toy Story characters will be entertaining to my nieces, who currently demand to make Mickey/Minnie talk on my watch. The Siri face is something I might actually use.

I'd like to see a few analog/digital watch faces (hands are useful for a quick approximation, numbers are good for knowing the exact time - why not put the two next to each other), and non-traditional analog faces (say, 24 hours with midnight at the bottom, markers/shading for hours of darkness and sunlight, and dots/lines around the edge for appointments/alarms) - why be stuck with digital rasterizations of the standard centuries-old clock layout? I'd like Apple to showcase new ways of displaying the time.

And as much as I'd like an Apple Watch Face Store (in part so I could write the two faces mentioned above for my own purposes), I don't see it happening any time soon, for several reasons:
  1. Apple is heavily invested in design, they (arguably reasonably) feel themselves to be pretty skilled at it, and figure they can make the best watch faces (I recall hearing that some of the top designers on the watch team were/are also fans of high-end analog watches) - this is arguably their pride "hurting" their customers, but when Jony Ive makes those videos saying, "This is the best XYZ we've ever made", I believe he really means it.
  2. Watch faces are displayed perhaps 95% of the time that the watch display is on, and must always be ready to display instantly (which means pre-computing anything that's going to take more than a few milliseconds to generate), and must be able to update instantly... all this means the watch face code has to be the most lightweight and highly optimized code on the watch (10% less efficient code here pretty much means 10% less battery life) - I don't think Apple feels ready yet to hand that kind of control over to third parties... in addition, with the watch face being so central to everything on the watch, they may have an internal roadmap of planned features that they want to finish before letting others play (i.e. if they allow 3rd party faces now, and then add some feature that they'd planned, in watchOS 5 or 6, but it breaks the top 5 3rd-party faces, that causes them grief) - right now they can totally change the way watch faces work with every minor update, and they only have to worry about updating their dozen or so faces.
  3. Because of the limitations in the previous point, watch faces submitted would require a large amount of time-consuming vetting and likely result in a high percentage of rejections. They may simply not want to invest the time in vetting the huge influx of submissions they'll get now (and there's no practical way to say, "no, only submit the good stuff"). A ton of developers of varying levels of competence will see it as a minor gold rush (just like the original App Store), and race to submit something/anything, to "get in on the ground floor".
 

gigaguy

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Apr 19, 2010
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I assumed Toy Story since the watch has a lot of younger owners who might relate to that over Pluto or Snow White (but there was an apple in the Snow White story))
It is a quandary tho... the direction and limited scope of the faces.
 

sean000

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Jul 16, 2015
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Bellingham, WA
Even the original watch faces are still great and they offer a different variety of Styles. I still think the solar watch face and Jelly fish/Butterfly animated faces are the the most intriguing. Those never seem to get old to me and they look awesome on the watch.
I agree that the original motion faces are really well done. I have even used them to calm down a crying toddler a few times! :D

The solar watch face is also really cool. I tend to use watch faces that are nice to look at when I'm off work, and at work (or when I have a busy day of appointments and tasks) I switch to one of the high-information faces that support multiple complications. I could see the Siri face being useful in a similar way, but that will come down to implementation.

I still think one of the best things about OS3 is how easy it is to swipe between faces. I now find myself changes faces all the time, especially when I want to get to a complication I have on another face.

Sean
[doublepost=1496870812][/doublepost]
I didn't realize until this thread that the Kaleidoscope face actually shows the time. That one is completely useless to me. The Toy Story characters will be entertaining to my nieces, who currently demand to make Mickey/Minnie talk on my watch. The Siri face is something I might actually use.

I'd like to see a few analog/digital watch faces (hands are useful for a quick approximation, numbers are good for knowing the exact time - why not put the two next to each other), and non-traditional analog faces (say, 24 hours with midnight at the bottom, markers/shading for hours of darkness and sunlight, and dots/lines around the edge for appointments/alarms) - why be stuck with digital rasterizations of the standard centuries-old clock layout? I'd like Apple to showcase new ways of displaying the time.
Great suggestion. I saw an ad for an analog 24 hour watch (midnight at the bottom) just yesterday and my first thought was, why isn't this an Apple Watch face?" There are so many interesting ways digital and analog devices have displayed time... why not offer some really creative visualizations?

And as much as I'd like an Apple Watch Face Store (in part so I could write the two faces mentioned above for my own purposes), I don't see it happening any time soon, for several reasons:
  1. Apple is heavily invested in design, they (arguably reasonably) feel themselves to be pretty skilled at it, and figure they can make the best watch faces (I recall hearing that some of the top designers on the watch team were/are also fans of high-end analog watches) - this is arguably their pride "hurting" their customers, but when Jony Ive makes those videos saying, "This is the best XYZ we've ever made", I believe he really means it.
  2. Watch faces are displayed perhaps 95% of the time that the watch display is on, and must always be ready to display instantly (which means pre-computing anything that's going to take more than a few milliseconds to generate), and must be able to update instantly... all this means the watch face code has to be the most lightweight and highly optimized code on the watch (10% less efficient code here pretty much means 10% less battery life) - I don't think Apple feels ready yet to hand that kind of control over to third parties... in addition, with the watch face being so central to everything on the watch, they may have an internal roadmap of planned features that they want to finish before letting others play (i.e. if they allow 3rd party faces now, and then add some feature that they'd planned, in watchOS 5 or 6, but it breaks the top 5 3rd-party faces, that causes them grief) - right now they can totally change the way watch faces work with every minor update, and they only have to worry about updating their dozen or so faces.
  3. Because of the limitations in the previous point, watch faces submitted would require a large amount of time-consuming vetting and likely result in a high percentage of rejections. They may simply not want to invest the time in vetting the huge influx of submissions they'll get now (and there's no practical way to say, "no, only submit the good stuff"). A ton of developers of varying levels of competence will see it as a minor gold rush (just like the original App Store), and race to submit something/anything, to "get in on the ground floor".
I think you are right on all points. Besides, the current and upcoming crop of watch faces offer endless combinations when you start customizing colors, complications, etc. They've provided a pretty rich environment for customizing your own faces, especially now that you can add two complications to the Photo and Photo Album faces. I've seen some very creative backgrounds people have created for the photo face. Being able to change the position of the time and complications on the photo face was also a much appreciated feature update.

Sean
 

Cogsworth

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Feb 7, 2015
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I forgot about the Pixar/Apple connection, but I doubt that's the reason those characters were chosen. Probably has more to do with whatever licensing agreement they were able to hammer out with Disney, and as someone else mentioned probably the fact that these characters might appeal to a younger customer base. But still...

On my drive to work today I was thinking about Siri integration...as I mentioned my daily routine is pretty boring and I have no need for a constant stream of updates and reminders. But that got me thinking...so Siri uses "complex A.I. machine learning" to determine what to show you right? For example, my phone sees that I travel to work five days a week around the same time every day, so when I get in the car it pops up a notification saying "20 minutes to get to work." Is it just me or is this just a completely useless waste of technology? I KNOW it's going to take me 20 minutes to get to work. It does every day and I make the drive 5 days a week! The only time this would be useful is if there is an accident or construction en-route that might cause delays but even here in L.A. that's pretty rare.

I am curious, in a broader sense, just how many people use Siri in their daily lives and if there are that many people that would find a Siri-based watch face useful. I use Siri once a day on average...I use the "good morning" command to turn on my Hue lights when I wake up. That's it. I just can't find a need for Siri in the rest of my day, and honestly even here in 2017 I still feel a little strange talking to my phone in public (other than, you know, an actual phone call).

I find it interesting that as these "virtual assistants" become more and more prolific (Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google) I don't know anyone that uses them on a daily basis.
 
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sean000

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I must be alone in this, but I actually DO like the kaleidoscope faces and oddly enough, have no problem telling the time while using it :)
It's always nice to get an opinion from a beta user who has actually seen the new faces in person. :D from what I've seen (which was just in the demo presentation) it looks pretty cool.

Does the Siri face work with third party apps reasonably well? I see a lot of potential for Siri, but I'm thinking it could be a bit of a hot mess until third party app developers allow you filter the types of content that will appear on that face... or until Siri gets smart enough to display what you need when you need it. Some things are already there... the way boarding passes pop-up when it's time to board a flight for example.
I forgot about the Pixar/Apple connection, but I doubt that's the reason those characters were chosen. Probably has more to do with whatever licensing agreement they were able to hammer out with Disney, and as someone else mentioned probably the fact that these characters might appeal to a younger customer base. But still...

On my drive to work today I was thinking about Siri integration...as I mentioned my daily routine is pretty boring and I have no need for a constant stream of updates and reminders. But that got me thinking...so Siri uses "complex A.I. machine learning" to determine what to show you right? For example, my phone sees that I travel to work five days a week around the same time every day, so when I get in the car it pops up a notification saying "20 minutes to get to work." Is it just me or is this just a completely useless waste of technology? I KNOW it's going to take me 20 minutes to get to work. It does every day and I make the drive 5 days a week! The only time this would be useful is if there is an accident or construction en-route that might cause delays but even here in L.A. that's pretty rare.

I am curious, in a broader sense, just how many people use Siri in their daily lives and if there are that many people that would find a Siri-based watch face useful. I use Siri once a day on average...I use the "good morning" command to turn on my Hue lights when I wake up. That's it. I just can't find a need for Siri in the rest of my day, and honestly even here in 2017 I still feel a little strange talking to my phone in public (other than, you know, an actual phone call).

I find it interesting that as these "virtual assistants" become more and more prolific (Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google) I don't know anyone that uses them on a daily basis.
A.I. Is still so much in its infancy, and your example shows that. Mature AI doesn't tell you what you already know (that it usually takes you 20 mins to drive to work). Mature AI should only notify you when your routine commute will be impacted by an unusual event that will cause a delay... like an accident or road work... or when it knows (based on your calendar and GPS history) that you are going someplace you don't usually go.

I use Siri on my watch to do things like set a reminder, create an appointment, set a timer, text my wife that I'm on my way home, turn on and off our Hue lights, etc. These actions don't require very much AI. They are basically commands triggering scripts. All of these AI helpers will get smarter and more natural, but for now it often does seem a little gimmicky when you ask Siri a question and Siri just performs a web search for you. My kids at least get a kick out of asking Siri silly questions. It's a given that AI will keep improving, and before you know it we will be laughing about how basic Siri was in 2017. The scary part is that for us to get the most out of AI, we have to let AI get to know us and our habits really well. That means giving Siri, etc. access to all our data so the AI has as much information and context as possible. I'm both excited and concerned about the possibilities.

Sean
 

960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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So I just watched the WWDC bit about WatchOS 4 and I have to say the new watch faces are a huge disappointment. Like many other Watch owners I have been anxiously awaiting new faces mostly out of boredom with the existing gallery...I am shocked (or maybe I shouldn't be) with just how bad these new ones are...
Thoughts? Am I alone on this one? :D
You can create your own watch faces... I'm thinking that's pretty epic.
 

Arran

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Mar 7, 2008
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Underwhelmed by the new faces.

I only use the modular face. Indeed, all I want for Christmas is modular with more complications! :)

I think the Siri face is an interesting experiment in providing more information (albeit spread across time). It's big problem is that I can't glance at my watch and always know where to look to see the temperature, time in a foreign city, stock price, rings, battery gauge, etc., etc. Its dynamic nature - where the OS decides what I'll see at any given time - undermines the simplicity and predictability of the watch.

I think Apple has made a (deeply flawed) assumption that users' lives and needs are predictable. Admittedly, some aspects may be predictable (calendar appointments, for example) but no algorithm can determine when I'll want to know the outside temperature. As a result, a lot of interactions may become two-handed as Siri decides to show me X when I really want Y. Ugh.

For sure, I'll give the Siri face a go when it's released, but I'm really not sold on it so far.
 
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sean000

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Underwhelmed by the new faces.

I only use the modular face. Indeed, all I want for Christmas is modular with more complications! :)
More than 5 complications? You're going to need a bigger apple watch ;)

One of the things I really appreciate about Watch OS3 is how easy it is to swipe from face to face. You can set up duplicates of the same face, but with different complications, and swipe between them.

Sean
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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You can create your own watch faces... I'm thinking that's pretty epic.
Customization is everything with the Apple a Watch. It's what makes it so unique. It becomes as personal as you want it to be. It's the most powerful feature with the bands and Watch faces.
 
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matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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If they can get us Siri watch face, why don't just get us Now Playing also so we can swipe to pause music? Much easier than going to the dock.
 
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